Wednesday , February 24 2021
Home / Project Syndicate / US Institutions After Trump

US Institutions After Trump

Summary:
It would be a mistake for Americans to take comfort in the fact that their democratic institutions survived four years of attacks by Donald Trump, culminating in the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. In fact, most of these institutions have been failing and are in desperate need of repair and reform. BOSTON – The storming of the US Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters on January 6 may be remembered as a turning point in American history. The insurrection, incited by the president himself, has raised profound questions about the kind of political institutions future generations will inherit. Liberation Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Topics:
Daron Acemoglu considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

FT Alphaville writes Michael Bolton wants you to break up with your brokerage

Swee Kheng Khor writes Three Vaccine Assumptions for 2021

Jean Pisani-Ferry writes Central Banking’s Brave New World

Christian Edlagan, Maria Monroe writes Expert Focus: Diversifying the economics profession

It would be a mistake for Americans to take comfort in the fact that their democratic institutions survived four years of attacks by Donald Trump, culminating in the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. In fact, most of these institutions have been failing and are in desperate need of repair and reform.

BOSTON – The storming of the US Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters on January 6 may be remembered as a turning point in American history. The insurrection, incited by the president himself, has raised profound questions about the kind of political institutions future generations will inherit.

Two narratives have come to describe this nadir of an already-tumultuous presidential transition in the United States. The first frames the Capitol insurrection as a singular failure of US institutions, which implies that the solution is to clamp down on right-wing extremists, social-media echo chambers, and their mainstream enablers.

But while such measures are long overdue, this narrative fails to capture the extent to which the Capitol attack was a direct result of Trump’s presidency, or the economic hardship and social grievances that led to Trump’s rise. In addition to leaving the country alarmingly polarized, Trump’s single term also fundamentally damaged US institutions, and decimated political norms that a well-functioning democracy needs.

The second prevailing narrative is even wider of the mark. It celebrates those Republicans – like Georgia’s Voting Systems Implementation Manager, Gabriel Sterling – who stood up against Trump’s falsehoods and attempts to overturn the election. This narrative frames the failure of the MAGA coup as inevitable, owing to the fundamental strength of US institutions. And yet, this mythical institutional resilience has been notably absent for most of the past four years. Even after they themselves were attacked, a majority of congressional Republicans were happy – or at least willing – to go along with a presidential agenda that threatened the future of the Republic.

Likewise, while many have praised the judiciary for maintaining its independence, the courts were only partly effective in stopping Trump’s unlawful decrees. The sheer scale of cronyism and corruption – with the Trump family routinely mixing government and private business – has yet to be fully investigated or appreciated. The...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *